Yeow! A pretty strong message of don’t fucking try it again!?
It is practically impossible to look at any news stand without encountering what is loosely described as “soft porn”: pictures of semi-naked women, pouting and posing seductively. The covers are often works of art, using careful colour contrasting, eye-catching visual stimuli and enticing headlines, promising riches of sexual fantasy within, to make men buy them.
But when they offer up as their main picture an image of a woman who is everywhere – on TV, online and in print – and who is followed and watched by millions of fascinated girls, a lightbulb comes on and it shines a harsh light on where we have arrived: a heavily sexualised society where fantasy and reality mix unhealthily, and where generations of girls and young
women feel insecure and unhappy about their bodies and themselves.
It is not just the “glamour” of the photograph of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Zoo magazine’s 26 May edition that draws the reader in: the expensive lacy red and black lingerie (colours woven into the rest of the cover), the artfully pseudo-natural hair and the heavy makeup. She presents herself in a sexually provocative way: breasts thrust forward, head pointing submissively downwards, thumbs resting inside her underwear, and legs stretched apart as she kneels on what is intended to look like bed sheets. The dominant image on the page is accompanied by three other pictures of semi-naked women, so that the entire cover consists of tantalising glimpses.
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Ashley Judd writing at The Daily Beast
Prayer for Marilyn Monroe
By Ernesto Cardenal
Receive this girl known around the world by the
name Marilyn Monroe
although that was not her real name
(but You know her real name, that of the little orphan girl violated
at age 9
and the little store clerk who at 16 had wanted to kill herself)
and who now presents herself before You without any makeup
without her Press Agent
without photographers and without signing autographs
alone as an astronaut facing the night of space.
She dreamt as a girl of being naked in a church
(as reported by Time)
before a prostrated crowd, with heads to the ground
and she had to walk on tiptoes so as not to tread on the heads.
You know our dreams better than the psychiatrists.
Church, home, cave, are the security of the mother’s breast
But also something more than that…
The heads are those of her fans, it is clear
(the mass of heads in the darkness beneath the stream of light)
But the temple is not the studios of 20th Century-Fox.
The temple – of marble and gold – is the temple of her body
in which the Son of Man with a whip in hand
drives out the 20th Century-Fox flesh merchants
who made Your house of prayer a den of thieves.
In this world of sins and radioactivity
You will not blame a little store clerk only.
Like all shop girls she dreamt of being a film star.
And her dream was reality (but the reality of Technicolor).
She did nothing but act according to the script that we gave her
- That of our own lives – And it was an absurd script.
Forgive her, Lord, and forgive us
for our 20th Century
for this Colossal Super-Production on which all of us have worked.
She was hungry for love and we offered her tranquilizers.
For her sadness, as we are not saints,
Psychoanalysis was recommended to her.
Remember, Lord, her growing fear of the camera
and her hatred of makeup – insisting on fresh makeup for each scene –
and how the horror kept building in her
and her late arrivals at the studio became more frequent.
Like every shop girl
she dreamt of being a film star.
And her life was unreal like a dream that a psychiatrist interprets and archives.
Her romances were a kiss with closed eyes
yet when she opened her eyes
she discovered that she was under spotlights
and they turned off the spotlights!
and they take down the two walls of the setup (it was a movie set)
while the Director walks away with his notebook
because the scene was shot.
Or like a yacht trip, a kiss in Singapore, a dance in Rio
The reception at the mansion of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
viewed in the miserable little living room of an apartment.
The movie ended without the final kiss.
The found her dead in her bed with the phone in her hand
And the detectives didn’t know who she was going to call.
like someone who had dialed the number of the single friendly voice
and had only heard the voice of a recording that told her: WRONG NUMBER
Or like someone who had been wounded by gangsters
reaching for the disconnected telephone.
whoever it might have been that she was going to call
and didn’t call (and perhaps it wasn’t anyone
or it was Someone whose number isn’t in the Los Angeles Directory)
You answer the phone!